Anyone give me the Dummies guide to(UK)Hard drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by julianna1973, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. julianna1973 macrumors 6502

    julianna1973

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    I have no clue really what they can do other than the obvious back up. I have the iMac desktop which i use as a main & keep all my pics on etc & its got all my itunes purchases etc that i would hate to lose. We have 2 running desktops but the only thing really my hubby would wish on his, is to keep his fav settings & websites. He doesnt have pics etc on it.

    He also has a Macbook Air & I have a Macbook but we havent up till now used them in any way other than for mobile usage, I would kind of like to start using my macbook more for home movies editing as its a newer system & has ilife 09 etc.

    Anyway, what can be recommended? can 1 hardrive be used to back up 2/3 computers? Can anyone suggest a particular one?
     
  2. ansalmo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #2
    You'll ideally want network-attached storage (NAS) rather than a USB drive, since you then just access it remotely without constant cable-swapping, and you can automate backups to it.

    For an all-Apple setup, your easiest (though by no means cheapest) option is to buy a Time Capsule. You can then set up Time Machine on each of your Macs to create regular automated backups, and also use it as a centrally-accessible network share. It also acts as a wireless access point, so you can potentially do away with a separate unit for that if you have one.

    If you have a mixed Mac and PC setup, you can still use a Time Capsule but you'll need to configure alternate backup software on the PCs.
     
  3. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    I agree with the ideas given, but...
    even if you just get the cheapest USB drive (you need 500GB or MORE), it will be better than Nothing! One drive will work for all the computers (especially if all Macs).
    We've seen TOO many people crying that they lost thousands of files!!!
    Another idea - a second drive mounted inside the desktop Macs can serve as backup too.
     
  4. lostime macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    #4
    Yes you can backup as many systems to one hard drive as you like, as long as there is room on the drive. My setup is more of a file server/home theater pc so I can access all my data from any computer anywhere in the house.

    I have a 500gb time capsule and a 1.5TB USB drive attached to my mac mini. The time capsule filled up fast so now I do most of my backups to the Mini's external drive since it's on all the time. If you leave one of your macs on all the time I would suggest this setup because you can get 2terabites of hard drive space for the cost of a 500Gb time capsule.

    On the other hand if you want file storage without leaving a computer on all the time then the time capsule or NAS is your best bet. You can always add hard drive space to the time capsule (or airport extreme) via the USB port on the back.

    Plan for expandability because once you start backing up it goes fast and you start realizing how much it would hurt to lose all that data.
     
  5. PrincessPeach macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #5
    I use a Time Capsule. We have three Macs backing up to it at the moment with Time Machine and it's already saved me once when we had a power cut and my main machine's main hard drive got seriously upset. As they said, it's not the cheap option but it is the easy option, and does have a few extra features if they're of use to you. We use the wireless capabilities now and gave our old Linksys wireless access point away.

    My mum just uses a simple external USB HDD for her Time Machine backups as she only has one computer. If you want to back several up though a properly networked drive is definitely a better option.

    At work I use a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo and I really do like that. It's happy talking to Macs and Windows PCs alike and was pretty easy to set up. It's tiny and just sits on the network without causing a fuss. I'd recommend taking a look at the ReadyNAS if you want a slightly more complicated (but potentially cheaper and more flexible) alternative to the Time Capsule.
     
  6. julianna1973 thread starter macrumors 6502

    julianna1973

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    You say you used Time Capsule with 3 of your macs? Does it matter if my desktop is tiger? the laptops are newer so i think they are both leopard.
     
  7. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #7
    Time Machine was introduced with Leopard.

    You can buy for example Retrospect Desktop for Macintosh, which should still come with 2 client licenses in addition to the "server". You attach the disk to the "server" and can backup your network. (But 8.0 still doesn't support PPC).

    http://www.retrospect.com/assets/retrospect_80_competetive_matrix.pdf

    I suggest that you get a single-disk 2TB drive. You can get a Western Digital GreenPower 2TB and a good enclosure.
     
  8. PrincessPeach macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #8
    Yes, the backups which Time Machine makes are stored as separate files on the Time Capsule so they never get jumbled up at all. The Macs just sort it all out for you and you can dip into Time Machine at any point on each machine to check the backup is working.

    For the Tiger one you could still use the same backup solution but instead of Time Machine you'd just have to do manual backups or install some separate backup software. The others can coexist and use the same drive with Leopard's Time Machine, which is probably the lowest stress way of doing automated backups and easy to check on whenever you like.

    I have one machine running Tiger but as I almost never change what's on that one any more (it's ancient) I just manually copied all the important stuff to the Time Capsule and left it alone since. If I changed the data regularly and didn't want the hassle I'd have had to look at other options.
     
  9. julianna1973 thread starter macrumors 6502

    julianna1973

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    I would love to get a new desktop iMac but im holding out until they change the design, hopefully they will. If they havent done so within a year, i might just go for it.
     
  10. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #10
    , buy two drives so you have two copies of your data if one should go belly up.

    time capsule is overpriced IMO but yeah buy 2 x 1TB or whatever size suits your usage , use them in a RAID set it up so it will copy all backed up data twice...

    Many many drives on the market , I've found GTechnologys drives to be good and solid and they're set up for Macs out the box !.

    Have a look on their page here: http://www.g-technology.com/products/products.cfm?interest=all

    good quality solid HD's which use Hitachi discs if I'm not mistaken , I have a few and they work well.

    Of particular interest to you I think would be the drives nearer the bottom of the page, not cheap mind ...get what you pay for though.This one is my fave at the moment which I'm almost going to pull the trigger on ...if the wife will let me :) http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-speed-es.cfm
    unfortunately GTech don't do NAS as yet ...soon as they do I'm on it
    ~d
     
  11. ansalmo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #11
    Since the OP is UK-based, you can currently pick up a previous-generation Time Capsule 500GB from Computer Warehouse for only £136. It misses out on the simultaneous dual-band wireless and guest wireless function, but it otherwise the same. That's a significant saving over the current model.
     
  12. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #12
    thats a reasonable price but how could one add the functionality of the newer gen TC to the older version ? are there any products that could help achieve this ?

    ~d
     
  13. ansalmo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #13
    You could buy another wireless router that provides the facilities but, if they're important to you, you're probably better off buying the current generation instead.
     

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